In various systems, an interface is the shared boundary connecting two components. It can be a hardware interface, such as the link between a computer and a printer, or a software interface, like a word processor and spell checker.
Within the realm of publishing, the book-reader relationship manifests as an interface. Its purpose is to facilitate comfortable and natural interaction with the book.
The format of a book significantly shapes its reader interface. For instance, the paperback version boasts distinct characteristics from an ebook counterpart. Beyond this, cover design, page layout, and text font contribute to the overall book interface.
An interface represents more than just connection points; it encompasses means for interaction or communication within computing systems. It could manifest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs), command-line interfaces (CLIs), or other formats linking programs or users.
For books specifically, their interface establishes boundaries between readers and content. It involves physical aspects — covers, spines, pages — along with mental models activated by readers encompassing expectations, assumptions, and comprehension towards each book.
The significance of interfaces in literature lies in their capacity to forge connections between readers and characters/stories. Through these interfaces emerges the ability for readers to immerse themselves fully— seeing through characters’ eyes while experiencing emotions firsthand— creating an impactful reading experience.